John Dewey on an Open Universe Without Bounds or Final CausesJohn Dewey, "Ethics," a public lecture delivered at Columbia University in March, 1908, under the title of in a series of lectures on " Science, Philosophy, and Art."
To many timid, albeit sincere, souls of an earlier century, the decay of the doctrine that all true and worthful science is knowledge of final causes seemed fraught with danger to science and to morals. The rival conception of a wide open universe, a universe without bounds in time or space, without final limits of origin or destiny, a universe with the lid off, was a menace. We now face in moral science a similar crisis and like opportunity, as well as share in a like dreadful suspense.
[Editor’s note: This quote may be what Gary Ross has in mind in the philosophically dense film Pleasantville, lilted in song — “Across the Universe” — by Fiona Apple.]